Mugabe: Hero or zero?

Political pundits believe the former Zimbabwean leader's funeral on Saturday illustrated a disconnect between African leaders and ordinary citizens.

16 September 2019 | Africa

Some believe the late Robert Mugabe was thrown into the dustbin of history when he was deposed as president of Zimbabwe in 2017, yet many African leaders still think of him as a great man who liberated Zimbabwe.

Nevertheless, at his funeral fewer than half of the 60 000 seats of the national sports stadium were filled.

Former Namibian president Sam Nujoma was among the African and world leaders who gave a glowing review of the man whose tyrannical rule pushed thousands of Zimbabweans into economic exile.

“We are gathered here to pay our last respects to a great freedom fighter, Comrade Robert, who made a great contribution to the total liberation of our continent,” said Nujoma.

He praised Mugabe for defying the rule of Ian Smith and “defeating him on the battlefield”.

Former Ghanaian leader Jerry Rawlings said Mugabe was an “impressive moral compass”.

“Our tears flow for our departed hero,” he said, adding that Mugabe was a pioneer of black assertiveness.



Disconnect

Political analyst Kamwanyah Ndumba says the praise bestowed on Mugabe by African leaders is testimony to a disconnect between the leaders and ordinary citizens.

He said Mugabe certainly left a contradictory legacy, but the fact that he stadium was only half full was a powerful message.

“He can only be judged by the people who lived under his rule. And it is no surprise that there was such a low turnout at his memorial service,” said Ndumba.

Another political analyst, Dr Nico Horn, said it was clear that the African leaders decided on ideology first and ethics second.

“We saw a half-full stadium, yet when you listen to African leaders it sounds as if Mugabe was a master of Africa,” Horn said.

Horn also pointed out that the claim that Zimbabwe's economic collapse had been caused by a boycott by the western powers is only half the truth.

“Now there are revelations of billions he used to acquire property abroad, showing that he was not the martyr figure he is made out to be,” he said.

Horn added that sitting Zimbabwean leader Emmerson Mnangawa also owes the Zimbabwean people an honest answer for getting rid of Mugabe.

Zimbabwean writer Wonder Guchu, who lives in Namibia, wrote last week that Mugabe was a divisive man in life and in death.

He also pointed out how Mugabe received top-class medical treatment abroad at the expense of the taxpayers, while the people Zimbabwe had to make do with “medieval” health facilities.

Mugabe died in a Singaporean hospital last week.

“Robert Mugabe would be flown to Singapore for medical check-ups. Most of the time, he commandeered the only Air Zimbabwe aircraft to just go for a medical check-up,”Guchu wrote.

[email protected]

JEMIMA BEUKES

Similar News

 

AU passport to be rolled out this year

1 week ago - 13 January 2021 | Africa

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEKThe African Union (AU) passport is set to be rolled out fully...

Namibia ready for AfCFTA trade opportunities

2 weeks ago - 06 January 2021 | Africa

NAMPA WINDHOEKPresident Hage Geingob says Namibia is ready to seize trade opportunities offered by the recently launched African Continental Free Trade Area...

AfCFTA: What’s in it for us?

2 weeks ago - 05 January 2021 | Africa

The trading phase under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), signed by 54 of the 55 countries in Africa, came into effect on 1...

SA sets eyes on Zimbabwe

5 months ago - 11 August 2020 | Africa

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEK African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Ace Magashule has condemned the state-sanctioned brutality and rights violations in neighbouring Zimbabwe, saying...

Comet Neowise visible just after sunset

5 months ago - 30 July 2020 | Africa

ELVIRA HATTINGH WINDHOEKComet Neowise (C/2020 F3) is now visible in the southern hemisphere just after sunset.The Astronomy Society of Southern Africa said it has received...

Namibia stagnates on several SDGs

5 months ago - 29 July 2020 | Africa

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEK Namibia has been ranked 119th among 166 countries in achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). This...

Africa should become the conservation continent

5 months ago - 27 July 2020 | Africa

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEK Protecting 30% of the earth's surface by 2030 could result in greater economic opportunities for emerging economies...

Response plan to improve health access, protect economies

8 months ago - 06 May 2020 | Africa

The African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) has launched a COVID-19 Response Plan of Action to assist African countries to improve access to sustainable and resilient...

Namibian companies consider AfCFTA boon

1 year - 19 November 2019 | Africa

CATHERINE SASMANNamibia recently signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) that could potentially unlock the massive African market of 1.2 billion people as the...

Small burial for Mugabe

1 year - 30 September 2019 | Africa

The body of Zimbabwe's former president Robert Mugabe was buried on Saturday in his rural village of Kutama, an AFP reporter at the scene said.The...

Latest News

RTE and Slaughterhouze part ways...

21 minutes ago | Art and Entertainment

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEKNamibian record label Remember The Eagle (RTE) Records has agreed to part ways with local group Slaughterhouze.While the group consists of DJ Spuzza,...

Trustco scrambles to meet JSE...

14 hours ago | Business

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUTrustco Holdings Limited is scrambling to finalize and submit its financials as a Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s deadline, less than two weeks away, looms. JSE...

New vehicle sales moving in...

14 hours ago | Business

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUVehicle sales contracted by 2.0% year-on-year in December 2020, compared to a contraction of 2.2% year-on-year in December 2019, with 714 units sold in...

Nekongo breaks silence on Fishrot...

14 hours ago | Crime

STAFF REPORTERWINDHOEKSwapo Party Youth League (SPYL) secretary Ephraim Nekongo yesterday said he did not know that the N$65 000 allegedly deposited into his personal account...

15 350 pupils ‘lost in...

14 hours ago | Education

ESTER KAMATIOTJIWARONGOWith the ministry of education taking a blended approach through online efforts and remote teaching and learning, about 15 350 learners did not return...

Shangula looking beyond Covax for...

14 hours ago | Health

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKNamibia is looking beyond the Covax facility to procure additional stock of Covid-19 vaccine, health minister Kalumbi Shangula has said.The Covax facility, an initiative...

Namibia more of a consumer...

14 hours ago | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUNamibia recorded a trade deficit to the tune of N$1.4 billion in November 2020. The recent figure shows that the deficit improved by...

Going back to the original...

14 hours ago | Opinion

It's not too late to salvage Namibia from the jaws of predatory tendencies threatening our existence as a nation.Think of the ideal Namibia we had...

Groundwater threatened by drilling

14 hours ago | Environment

FRANK STEFFENWINDHOEKIn 2011, a hydrological study dating back to 2001 was republished.Together with the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR in Hanover, Germany),...

Load More